South Holston Loop - Birding and Wildlife Trail
Straddling the border between Tennessee and Virginia, the brick red shores of South Holston Lake offer endless surprises including migrant shorebirds, nesting cliff swallows, and bald eagles soaring high overhead. The area's history is highlighted along the Virginia Creeper Trail, an exemplary rails-to-trails project leading from downtown Abingdon onto the scenic slopes of Whitetop Mountain in the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area. Such a high diversity of habitats results in prolific wildlife and numerous opportunities for the wildlife enthusiast. The open fields and rolling hills that surround South Holston Lake resound with the songs of indigo bunting and eastern kingbird, which are easily encountered along the Virginia Creeper Trail. Wood duck, muskrat, green heron and painted turtle can be found in the deepest recesses of South Holston Lake's swampier sections. Climbing upwards away from the heat, visitors will encounter cool, clear streams teaming with trout as black-throated blue warbler sing overhead and Louisiana waterthrush chip from stone to stone. Careful exploration is sure to unveil further treasures and add to the memorable experiences.